Hiking the Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye

Overview

Northwest Scotland, a sensational meeting of mountain and sea, is a land of mist-shrouded crags, heathered moorlands, brooding castles, and rich folklore and legends. On our exclusive journey you’ll discover its stunning beauty the best possible way—with hikes on age-old trails rising above silver lochans (small lakes), across mountain-ringed glens, and on island paths amid the wild seascapes of the Outer Hebrides. Breathtaking Skye, the fjord-like inlets of the “far Cuillins,” historic Glencoe, and the splendid sandy beaches of Harris, with its famous weavers, are all on this fantastic journey. Along the way, you’ll drop by a pub or two for a wee dram of whisky, sample freshly-caught scallops and salmon, and discover the proud Gaelic heritage and warm welcome of the Scots.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Loch Ness / Glen Affric

On our hike along Loch Ness, keep an eye out for “Nessie,” then head to the top of Craigmonie Crag for fine views across the lake. Glen Affric is arguably Scotland’s most beautiful glen, with its shimmering lochs and ancient Caledonian pinewoods, and you’ll follow trails around the peak of Am Meallan, with an optional hike to its summit.

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Days 3-5
Outer Hebrides / Harris and Lewis / Callanish Standing Stones

In the Outer Hebrides, a hike on the Isle of Lewis brings you along rugged coastal cliffs to an Iron Age fortress, then takes in the magical setting of the Callanish Standing Stones, a remote megalithic site bathed in legend. On the adjoining Isle of Harris, our hikes lead up the “wee” peak of Toe Head (1,198'), with its fantastic 360-degree summit view, and along one of Harris’s historic “coffin roads,” dating back to medieval times. Later, visit a Harris Tweed weaver to learn about the production of this famous fabric.

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Days 6-7
Isle of Skye / Quiraing / Cuillins

On the storied Isle of Skye, hike among the mysterious rock spires of the Quiraing and to a tiny loch in the heart of the brooding Black Cuillins, among the most spectacular peaks in all Britain. At a traditional distillery, try a taste of the sweet, full-bodied single malt whisky made on this renowned island.

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Days 8-10
Glencoe

In the secret glacial valley of historic Glencoe, site of the battles of the Campbell and MacDonald clans, enjoy a choice of fantastic hiking options in this famously wild setting of moors, woodlands, and steep U-shaped valleys. Depart on Day 10 via Inverness.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike along mysterious Loch Ness, in the beautiful nature reserve of Glen Affric, and historic Glencoe
Discover the cultures and mystical landscapes of the Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye
Gaelic legends, heather-covered hills, dramatic seascapes, and dramatic mountains, including the incredible rock pinnacles of the Quiraing
Visit the prehistoric Callanish Standing Stones, away from the crowds
Accommodations include two magnificent country estates
Taste whiskies, meet a traditional weaver, hear tales from a local storyteller

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $6395  
Arrive: Inverness, Scotland
Depart: Inverness, Scotland
Lodging: 9 nights hotels and historic inns
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

9 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 3-7 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)

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